PCDU Episodes:

Here is a full list of all PCDU Episodes since #1 back in 2009. Click on a title to visit the episode page & download or listen to the episode from there.

PCDU Episode 112: Federal Election 2013

It's time to vote!

It’s time to vote!

It’s time for Australians to vote for their favourite (or least disliked :) ) politicians and, once again, we’ve gone into bat for our audience to present information about the transportation policies of the main parties.

Unfortunately, our cunning plan to wait for the parties to have revealed their policies has not been as successful as we’d like as a) some parties are still holding their cards close to their chest and b) all the candidates are running around frantically to shore up support & win voters to their side.

Oh well, on with the show :)

At 0:03:40, we start with Anthony Albanese from the Australian Labor Party. Anthony is the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Infrastructure & Transport, Minister for Broadband, Communications & the Digital Economy and the Leader of the House. While unable to come on the show, Anthony was able to provide written answers to our questions (which we’ve listed below) so we provide some commentary on his answers:

1. How important do you consider aviation to be to Australia’s economic growth, especially with respect to foreign earnings through training and the production & export of aircraft & components? If so, how will your policies help aviation boost economic growth? (eg: Carbon Tax subsidies as per other forms of transport, easier access to VET FEE Help for pilot training, employment legislation changes, boosts for trainee/apprentice programs, reduced user fee costs, etc)

Last year was another record year for aviation in Australia with more than 86 million passengers flying domestically and internationally. This is a 4.5 per cent increase on 2011.

Passenger growth in Australia was more than three times the rate of the United States, which registered a 1.3 per cent increase in passenger numbers in 2012.

We’re committed to working with the sector to build Australia’s aviation industry. Over $120 million in assistance has been provided for students undertaking aviation-related studies. This assistance has provided more than 12,000 places for students to gain the qualifications necessary to build Australia’s aviation industry.

Federal Labor has announced we’re abolishing the carbon tax and moving to an Emissions Trading Scheme next year, which will reduce the cost for the sector further.

2. Do you consider aviation to be important to the development & prosperity of country Australia? If so, how will your policies help boost aviation for rural areas? (eg: route subsidies, rural airport development, etc)

Absolutely. That’s why Federal Labor has injected more than $261 million of assistance into regional and remote aviation – more than five times that spent by the former Coalition Government in the preceding six years.

We are upgrading:

  • 47 regional airports in every state
  • 237 remote airstrips, making them safer and guaranteeing medical services

There is more money and support going into regional aviation than ever before. Growth in total passenger movements at regional airports continues to be higher than at airports in major cities, growing at 4.6 per cent versus 3.5 per cent respectively.

In addition, the number of regional airports receiving services increased by 31 airports to 171 last year– the highest in almost a decade

3. Will Aviation have its own minister? Or even a dedicated full-time Transport minister? If aviation (& transport in general) are important factors in the economic growth of Australia, does it not make sense to have a dedicated portfolio managed by a single minister?

I’m not pre-empting future decisions about portfolios – my focus is on securing another term for the Rudd Labor Government.

4. Will the issues relating to CASA & the ATSB that were raised by the recent Senate inquiry into the PelAir accident be addressed? If the two months between the report being produced & parliament going into caretaker mode was insufficient for a response to be generated it would indicate significant issues have been raised & need to be addressed. What priority will this have after the election?

A re-elected Labor Government will provide a response to the Inquiry once the findings have been given full consideration. In the meantime, the ATSB has invited the Canadian Transportation Safety Bureau to undertake an independent review of the ATSB investigation methodologies and processes.

5. Will a decision on Sydney’s second airport be made in the first year of the new government or will still more studies & delays be incurred?

I have consistently said Sydney needs a second airport sooner rather than later.

6. What steps will be taken to reduce the impact of residential encroachment on airports, eg: Bankstown, Archerfield, Moorabbin, etc.

The Federal Labor Government has championed the National Airports Safeguarding Framework to guide land use planning reform around Australian airports. The Framework will help ensure that in the future both airports and residents of suburbs around airports are safeguarded from inappropriate off-airport development. Airports are important transport, economic and employment hubs, significantly contributing to our social connections and economic productivity.

The framework was adopted by the Standing Committee on Transport and Infrastructure (SCOTI) and each state and territory government will now apply the framework in a manner appropriate to their own planning rules.

The Government wants to see more sensible planning decisions are made around airports – that is why we established the Planning Coordination Forums (PCFs) at each federally leased airport. These forums enable the airport and the federal Government agencies to engage the state government and local councils in regard to planning decisions around the airport.

Then, at 0:23:40 we have a chat with Senator Lee Rhiannon, the Transport spokesperson for The Greens. We asked her the same set of questions as those above but (as you might expect), her answers were quite different to those from Anthony Albanese.

 

Finally, at 0:41:38 we review the Coalition’s aviation policy document. We had tried to arrange a chat with Warren Truss from the Liberal National Party as we did during the last Federal Election in 2010 but, unfortunately, at the times he was available to chat with us, we were stuck away from the studio :(

Warren is the Leader of the Nationals and the Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport and it was his department that released the Coalition’s aviation policy document. If you want to get all the details the Coalition have released about this policy, you should read their PDF format document.

Of interest, the Regional Aviation Association of Australia (RAAA) have issued a media release stating that the Coalition’s aviation policies are a “good start and show that the Coalition has at least been listening to industry concerns, concerns that have been shared with the Shadow Minister over a number of years.”

 

So there you go. While we didn’t get to chat with all the politicians we were chasing, we did at least get sufficient information from them to review and discuss for this episode. Perhaps next election we’ll be able to arrange our times more in advance to ensure we can bring you their commentary. Hopefully by then, we won’t also still be wondering if there’ll ever be a second airport in Sydney :)

PCDU Episode 41: Australian Federal Election QuickCast #3: Comments on the Greens & Labor’s White Paper

In our third & final Election QuickCast, we take a look at the published transportation policies from the The Greens and the Labor Party’s “Aviation White Paper.” Sadly, Christine Milne from the Greens and Anthony Albanese from Labor were unable to accommodate us in their busy schedules. Both groups have indicated that they’ll be happy to talk to us once the dust has settled from the election so we look forward to bringing them on for future episodes.

Meanwhile, Steve & I didn’t have much time for a full analysis & discussion but we did record our thoughts on the information we could gather. As you’d expect, the Greens are very much into public transport and eco-friendly fuels while the Labor party are standing very firmly behind their Aviation White Paper.

As previously noted, we’re not trying to tell you how to vote, just doing our bit to raise awareness of the importance of aviation within the political community and hopefully give you some information that might help you make an informed decision.

PCDU Episode 40: Australian Federal Election QuickCast #2: Ken Hill & Tim Sheen

Australians are about to go to the election booths on Saturday 21st August so we’re working to bring our listeners information about the aviation policies of the various political parties. We’re not trying to tell you how to vote, just doing our bit to raise awareness of the importance of aviation within the political community and hopefully give you some information that might help you make an informed decision.

In our second Election QuickCast, we’re taking to two representatives from one of Australia’s more “interesting” parties. This party approaches politics from the small business and civil liberties environment and has a rather distinctive, catchy and memorable name: The Australian Sex Party.

We were fortunate enough to speak with Ken Hill and Tim Sheen about their views on the current election, Australian politics and aviation. Ken is a private pilot in Melbourne who is working on the party’s aviation & transportation policies while Tim Sheen is a candidate for the Sex Party in Queensland and also a commercial pilot flying in the New Guinea area.

The discussion covers a lot of issues that are of importance to pilots within Australia and raises a number of the problems currently facing people who are trying to make a living in this industry.

PCDU Episode 39: Australian Federal Election QuickCast #1: Warren Truss

Australians are about to go to the election booths on Saturday 21st August so we’re working to bring our listeners information about the aviation policies of the various political parties. We’re not trying to tell you how to vote, just doing our bit to raise awareness of the importance of aviation within the political community and hopefully give you some information that might help you make an informed decision.

In our first Election QuickCast, we’re interviewing Warren Truss, the leader of the National Party and shadow minister for trade, transport and local government. Warren was gracious enough to give us some time to talk about his interest in aviation as well as his party’s views on the importance of aviation to Australia, the cost of flying, airspace safety, airport encroachment and ways to get more people flying. We even touch on high speed rail and how it stands compared to airlines. We also discover that Warren’s a bit of an aircraft lover and has a good collection of models in his office.

We’re working with the other parties to see if we can get time with their representatives before the election. Everyone is, of course, extremely busy in the final days of meeting constituents, appearing at events and being in the media. Watch the space to see who else we can get for you :)